This project was a true collaboration with the land, the architecture, and artist who always had the vision. CHLA was fortunate to be a part of this project from the beginning. Owner, Teresa Fishbeck, is an artist and was very involved in this project, both indoors and outdoors. There is not a detail of this garden that escaped her attention. Upon purchasing the 130-acre farm and selecting a building site, the owners built a garage with an apartment in order to get acquainted with the property. They began to landscape areas around this first building and focused on creating a garden space on an adjacent hill that she named the Hobbit Knoll. Plans for a grand country estate, with castle-like proportions, began to evolve. Understanding the scale and proportion of this mountainous countryside and grand estate was the first challenge.
The house, located on the prominent knoll in the middle of the property, is grounded by the landscape. A series of gardens developed around the house formed a plinth, from which the house sprang. These raised gardens serve as shoulders for the estate to rest on.
Choreographing the entry and arrival sequence to the estate was equally as important to our clients. A road was placed like a ribbon, leading your eye through undulating terrain toward the distant destination. The quadrants of the round stone cobbled entry court are oriented to direct the arrival experience. From the two overlook balustrades, stairs descend to reveal a small niche fountain and sculpture that greets guests coming up the road. The fountain in the center of the courtyard spouts water from four custom carved stone fish, introducing guest to the fish motif that reoccurs throughout the property.
The Kitchen Garden:
With commanding views of the mountain range, this fenced-in kitchen garden is home to a dining arbor, a parterre garden, a stone well fountain and an intimate lawn for the grandkids. Custom gates, fencing, and balustrades surround the garden.
Below the kitchen garden, a loggia with a custom spa opens to the lawn, which rolls down to a pond. Inside, through the loggia, one finds the game room, wine room, and bowling ally. This area is called “The Red Zone”, which lives under the kitchen garden terrace.
Teresa’s studio lives on the west side of the house, with views of mountains. The West Garden is a strolling garden. At the upper level, a perimeter path adjacent to the balustrade takes one past the studio, through a small woodland garden, around another fountain, then to the tennis court overlook.
Swimming Pool Garden:
The swimming pool lives in a large courtyard space, formed by the wings of the house. It was important that the distinct spaces within this larger garden related to one another. A lawn parterre, flanked by pleached Lindon trees, frames a long view from the house to the distant woodland stream. A custom outdoor kitchen and fireplace terrace provide a cozy space for conversations and entertaining. The 75’ pool vanishes over the edge to the south, with water cascading past the carved stone columns and down several pools to the tented lawn. A spa lives at the end of the pool, under the entablature with twisted stone columns, like an exclamation point. The lower tent lawn was designed to host large events that will require tents and access to catering trucks.
It is important in a project of this size and scale to have these special details, which provides an element of surprise as one makes their way through the property. This careful attention to detail creates layers of depth in the gardens of Castlebrook.